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Cervical Screening Programme Disappointing

‘Differential impacts of Cervical Screening Programme Disappointing’ Tariana Turia, Co-leader Maori Party

The Maori Party is devastated, but not surprised, to learn of the failure of the national cervical cancer screening programme to reach Maori women.

‘The research that Dr Paparangi Reid has undertaken at the Eru Pomare Research Centre has presented evidence showing that Maori are less likely to be referred and less likely to have investigations from primary care through to secondary care’ said Mrs Turia today.

‘Even in our own whanau, we have known famly members who have received a cancer diagnosis very late into the progression of that disease, and died far earlier than their non-Maori counterparts’ said Mrs Turia today.

‘What this audit reveals to me, is that the reality of racism and poverty must be dealt with if we are to ever achieve progress in improving the health status of tangata whenua, Pacific and the poor’ said Mrs Turia.

‘Hard questions have to be asked of the health sector.

Why is it that the national screening programme has been unable to reach Maori, Pacific or poor women?

Why is it that Maori women are not getting access to the proper treatment to address health conditions?

What does it say about the credibility and effectiveness of the health sector if particular groups of New Zealanders, specifically Maori, Pacific and the poor, are not receiving equal treatment to that experienced by other New Zealanders?

‘There are solutions right in front of us. The health sector could work constructively to increase the resources allocated to Maori providers working in this area, to ensure meaningful access of Maori women to the information, treatment and appropriate follow-up of cervical health’.

‘There will also be other community providers who are able to provide effective services for Pacific peoples, and people in lower socio-economic sectors ’.

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